Porcupine
Julian Barnes

Book cover image

Narrated By: Daniel Rigby

Duration: 3 hours and 41 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2011

Stoyo Petkanov, the deposed Party leader of a former Soviet satellite country, is on trial. His adversary, the prosecutor general, stands for the new government's ideals and liberal certainties, and is attempting to ensare Petkanov with the dictator's own totalitarian laws. But Petkanov is not beaten yet. He has been given his chance to fight back and he takes it with a vengeance, to the increasing discomfort and surprise of those around him.

© Julian Barnes 1992 (P) Penguin Audio 2020

Genre

Modern & contemporary fiction

Listen to a sample

The neatness of the novel's structure is complemented by the rampageous energy of the characters for which it is the cage

Daily Telegraph

Critics have overlooked his tenderness, underestimated his intelligence, and denied his wisdom... The Porcupine is a superbly accomplished novella

Nick Hornby

The Porcupine is a new indisputable proof of Mr Barnes's creative power, yet what really astonished me, the Prosecutor, was the amazing precision of the intellectual's view of a socialist dictator, which so accorded with Zhivkov's true character

Prosecutor Zhekov, official prosecutor of the deposed Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov

A minor masterpiece of political satire: compelling, funny and frightening